Launching more than 1600 students toward a bright future, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, presided over the 19th Winter Commencement ceremony at Stony Brook University on Thursday, Dec. 22. Graduates included recipients of 835 Bachelors degrees, 620 Masters, 120 Doctoral and Professional, and 55 certificates.
Amid the traditional pomp and circumstance at Island Federal Credit Union Arena, President Stanley paid tribute to the diversity and welcoming climate of Stony Brook, where “we celebrate … diversity because it makes us stronger.”
“In these tumultuous times, I hope you will use your Stony Brook education, not just the remarkable academic components, but your experiences in working and living side by side with some amazing people, to help create a welcoming, inclusive, and productive environment wherever you go,” Stanley said.
Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) addressed the graduating class, urging them to follow their dreams. “My advice to the Class of 2016 is simple: go for it,” Sen. Schumer said.
This winter’s graduates, ranging in age from 20 to 65, included:
- Brian Yang, award-winning hacking competitor and Alec Day, president of Stony Brook Game Developers and member of the underrepresented community in STEM fields. Both will receive a bachelor’s in Computer Science
- Emily Ostrander, who began taking courses at Stony Brook when she was 15, will graduate with a bachelor’s from the English Honors Program. Emily has been deemed one of the best TAs ever to assist in the English Department and will continue to use her teaching abilities as a children’s librarian in the public library system of New York after graduation.
- EOP/AIM students Anel Gomez and Arafun Azad, who credit their academic and personal successes to advising, mentorship and the support received through the program, will receive bachelors in history/sociology and psychology, respectively.
“Your decision to attend and receive a degree from Stony Brook University means you are on a path towards a better life,” Stanley told the graduates. “I pledge that we will work to improve your prospects even more by increasing the value of your degree as we move towards our goal of being one of the 25 best public universities in the world.”